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Health

Health research and innovation are positioned as a spearhead in this new period. The pandemic has had a major impact on health policies, including European collaboration programmes such as Horizon Europe, which has highlighted the need to be prepared at European and international level to manage the pandemic. The extreme situation has shown that it is possible to work on R&D&I projects in health in a coordinated manner, share data or carry out centralised purchases of medicines and vaccines to avoid inequalities in access to health between member countries.

The most significant development has been the creation of the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) to prevent, detect and respond rapidly to health emergencies. The HERA is becoming a key pillar of the European Union in the field of health. Since its establishment in September 2021, HERA has worked with Member States and various stakeholders, including industry and civil society to develop activities to improve preparedness and response to health threats in the field of medical countermeasures.

The cooperation in Health

The cooperation of different actors in health development is essential because health problems cannot be solved individually. With this form of collaboration, the main benefits are related to the improvement of the quality of life of citizens and the strategic improvement of health systems.

Currently, chronic and infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance are some of the fronts where the sector is most involved. In addition, the ageing population must be addressed: the number of people over 65 in the EU will have grown by 70% by 2050.  In addition, the fight against cancer must be taken into account, as one of the 5 missions set out by Horizon Europe in its programme.

Health R+D+i projects

Health research and innovation are positioned as a spearhead in this new period. The extreme situation has shown that it is possible to work on R&D&I projects in health in a coordinated manner.

Our Figures

40%

Share of funding in Horizon Europe

+540

Proposal submitted in european programmes (21-23)

50%

Share of funding in other European programmes

+100

Projects in which we have been or are partners

health

Challenges in the health area 

One of the main obstacles facing the health sector today ranges from the different types of collaboration to the diversity of organisational models, information systems, interoperability, equipment and policies that hinder cooperation. Above all, however, it must be borne in mind that the market for medicines and medical devices is not a free market, which makes it more difficult for innovations to be implemented.

In addition, much of the medical research that is carried out does not end up being materialised because it fails to demonstrate the clinical efficacy seen in animal models or early phases of clinical trials, and although it advances knowledge, it is not applied to patients. Statistics show that only one out of every 10,000 compounds reaches the market.

Health is naturally related to areas such as the environment and digitalisation, which have now become cross-cutting areas. Therefore, the importance of the environment in health is becoming increasingly evident, as is the need for policies that take into account the impact of environmental pollution on chronic diseases that allow a global strategy to be addressed for the citizen. And as for digitalisation, the EU has established it as a priority in the world of health because the impact of the use of digital tools to improve the quality of care for citizens is very great.

Challenges in the health area

One of the main obstacles facing the health sector today ranges from the different types of collaboration to the diversity of organisational models, information systems, interoperability, equipment and policies that hinder cooperation. Above all, however, it must be borne in mind that the market for medicines and medical devices is not a free market, which makes it more difficult for innovations to be implemented.

In addition, much of the medical research that is carried out does not end up being materialised because it fails to demonstrate the clinical efficacy seen in animal models or early phases of clinical trials, and although it advances knowledge, it is not applied to patients. Statistics show that only one out of every 10,000 compounds reaches the market.

Health